George Bernard Shaw was apt right when he said “There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” I’ve always loved to eat, and yet some food I’ve eaten linger in my memory long after I’ve licked the last speck from the plate. Why? I’m not exactly sure but that the spices tuck under my tongue and it’s taste move in ways that long intrigues me. One such memory still afresh in my mind is an excursion to Udaipur- The Venice of India, that unearthed a plethora of tastes before my tongue, the food destination being UPRE. Since 1559 A.D. , the rooftop restaurant overlooking lake Pichhola is a real treat to watch. And add to it the poetry in recepie, music in spices, the whispers of garnishing and the regal splendour of ghee. This sense of completeness is truly amazing. UPRE has an ambience that lights you up instantly as you enter.
I’m a vegan and a nonalcoholic too, so there wasn’t much exploration for me to be done but the vegan’s delight “Paneer” was something I would relish forever. The intricately woven spices in the gravies and the finely made ginger naan were seemingly the food of Gods themselves. The view overlooking the food made me realize that food isn’t just food. Food is a thing of beauty. That preparation, that fragrance of spices, that wafting aroma-that just sweeps away depression, tiredness and name what you may. Jay Leno greedily said ” soup is just a way of screwing you out of a meal.” But food doesn’t seem food without a bowl of soup. The tomato cream soup in the restaurant was the exact example of what one calls scrumptious. A taste to savour literally. The starter of Paneer Platter, followed by main course-Butter Paneer Masala, Veg Kofta, Malai Paneer, Butter and Ginger naan. Now if it comes to dessert I would go with Graham Kerr when he defined dessert as the perfect women: subtle, a little bittersweet, not blowsy and extrovert, delicately made up, not highly rouged, holding back, not exposing everything & of course with a flavor that lasts. And nothing is better than the all time delectable and yummy, the King of Indian Desserts-Gulab Jamun. Adding a little pinch of exotic sense to our Great Indian Diet was a cup of coffee the nectar of angels. Coffee has been fuelling us for centuries, pulling men and women into its embrace and never letting go. The Biker’s Cafe Lounge at Chand pole, very near to UPRE, had the most pleasant-tasting Café Mocha in the world for sure. Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel, sweet as love, coffee is best defined by Sheikh-Abd-al Kadir as ” common man’s gold” where ” like gold it brings to every person the feeling of luxury and mobility”. Hence wrapped up our exploration of the deepest tastes and flavors of the Lake City on an indeed very happy note. Perhaps there could be a single taste that missed our hearts but on a complete note we found a mine of peppery, saporous, piquant, salty, gingery, toothsome and robust meal. After all Virginia Woolf was too honest when she said ” One can’t think well, love well, sleep well, if one hasn’t dined properly”.